Easton Mountain Products may have only introduced their first line of snowshoes in 2008, but their significance in the snowshoe industry has existed for nearly 30 years. As a major supplier of aluminum and carbon fiber components, Easton Mountain Products quietly built up its reputation as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for other sporting brands before stamping their brand on their own snowshoes.
As history goes, Easton Mountain Products originally began as a manufacturer of arrows in 1922. When founder Doug Easton was laid up as a result of a shotgun accident, he took an interest in archery and bow hunting. At the time, very few companies were developing technology for this growing hobby, but within a year Easton set out to design durable and precise arrows – initially with wood and later with strong, lightweight aluminum.
Building on the versatile properties of aluminum, Easton branched out and the company eventually began supplying core components like tent poles, hockey sticks, kayak paddles and snowshoe frames for other brands in the sporting market.
The company sold the team sports division to the Riddel, Giro and Bell group in 2006, but the Easton family held onto the mountain division, one of the strongest departments of the company, and continues to operate as an OEM while producing its own line of mountain products, including snowshoes.
“There’s lots of people that don’t know they had Easton on their feet,” said Rich Packer, marketing manager at Easton Mountain Products. Packer is referring to major brands like Tubbs, Atlas and GV Snowshoes that have, at some point, called upon Easton Mountain Products to manufacture their snowshoe frames.
Which is perhaps why Easton Mountain Products was awarded Gear of the Year by Outsidemagazine shortly after their initial launch of their own snowshoe line in 2008. Easton Mountain Products has been making snowshoe components for years and understands how to design a strong, lightweight snowshoe. “All our technology is based on the products that we’ve built for years,” said Packer. So it makes sense that they would eventually market their own brand.
It also helps that their manufacturing plant is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, just a few miles from the powdery Wasatch Mountains. Whether they’re designing their own snowshoes, trekking poles or tents, “We can make a prototype, walk out the door and test it,” said Packer. Add their in-house factory at their disposal and Easton Mountain Products is able to constantly develop newer, lighter and stronger products for rugged mountain adventure.